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Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles
Directed by
Chuck Workman

USA / 2014 / 96

Screening Times and Venues:

Q&A Attendees
*subject to change:
Chuck Workman
Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles looks at the remarkable genius of Orson Welles on the eve of his centenary - the enigma of his career as a Hollywood star, a Hollywood director (for some a Hollywood failure), and a crucially important independent filmmaker. Orson Welles's life was magical: a musical prodigy at age 10, a director of Shakespeare at 14, a painter at 16, a star of stage and radio at 20, romances with some of the most beautiful women in the world, including Rita Hayworth. His work was similarly extraordinary, most notably Citizen Kane, (considered by many to be the most important movie ever made), created by Welles when he was only 25. In the years following Citizen Kane, Welles’s career continued to change as he made film after film (some never finished, many dismissed) and acted in other projects often to earn money in order to keep making his own films. Magician features scenes from almost every existing Welles film, from Hearts of Age, (which he made in a day when he was only 18 years old) to rarely-seen clips from his final unfinished works like The Other Side of the Dream, The Deep, and Don Quixote, as well as his television and commercial work.
Chuck Workman's theatrical short, Precious Images, made for the Directors Guild of America, won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short and has become the most widely shown short in film history. It was recently selected as a landmark film for preservation by the Library of Congress National Film Registry.

Workman created short films and openings for twenty Academy Awards presentations and two Emmy Award shows, was nominated for an Emmy for Directorial Achievement for his work on the Oscar show, and has been nominated nine times for editing on the Oscar show. He also created short films for the Motion Picture and Television Fund, UCLA, the Reagan Library, the Motion Picture Association of America, Disneyworld, Eastman Kodak, Turner, and many other organizations and companies.

Workman wrote, directed and produced several documentaries, including Superstar, a theatrical documentary on artist Andy Warhol which appeared at the Berlin Festival, London Film Festival, and several other festivals. He produced and directed The Source, a documentary film on the Beat Generation, with performance sequences starring John Turturro, Dennis Hopper, and Johnny Depp. This film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. His documentary Visionaries, on experimental film, premiered at the Tribeca Festival in 2009. He has just completed a feature length film essay What is Cinema? which appeared at the Toronto Festival.

Cast/Featuring: Orson Welles
Producer(s): Charles S. Cohen
Director(s): Chuck Workman
Cinematographer(s): John Sharaf, Tom Hurwitz, Michael Lisnet
Editor(s): Chuck Workman
Composer(s)/Music: Bernard Herrmann, Sergei Prokofiev, Erik Satie, Tomaso Albinoni, Burt Bacharach, Michel Legrand, Elliott Goldenthal


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